The De Beauvoir Balloon Debates bring together insightful, passionate speakers and thought-provoking topics in one enjoyable evening. We ask our audience: if you could save one brilliant idea out of three in a hot air balloon – which would it be?
Hosted in the welcoming crypt of St Peter’s Church, Northchurch Terrace, London N1 4DA, the evening is punctuated with a glass of wine and convivial company. Come and join us for an evening of inspiration.
We’ve a host of interesting speakers lined up for 2017.
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Dr David Maguire: “We need to talk about masculinity”.
Dr David Maguire researches modern masculinity at Oxford University’s School of Geography and the Environment. His work on the interplay of masculinity, education, place, crime and incarceration was influential in the RSA’S recent ‘Future Prison Project’. @Dee0871
Lara Prendergast: “Technology has taken over the mind.”
Lara Pendergast is online editor for The Spectator and food and drink editor for Spectator Life. She has perviously worked at the Telegraph and Vogue India, and has written for the Financial Times, the Evening Standard, the Erotic Review and Apollo Magazine.
Josh Spero: “How can a Jew love Wagner?”
Josh Spero is deputy editor, Special Reports, at the Financial Times, where he has written about his love of Wagner, and is also a consulting editor for FT Live. He is Tatler’s art critic and the author of Second-Hand Stories (Unbound, 2015), a book about the people who used to own his books.
SEAN O’CALLAGHAN wins the autumn debate with his insights into the totalitarian mindset.
“To tackle extremism we must recognise what unites totalitarians.”
Sean O’Callaghan is a writer and expert on exremist ideology. He is also a former member of the IRA. In 1988 he handed himself in and was given a 539-year prison sentence by a Belfast court before finally being pardoned in 1997. His most recent book was published this year, marking the anniversary of th Easter Rising “James Connolly: My Search for the Man, the Myth and his legacy”.‘The Informer’, was published in 1999.
“What Britain needs now is hygge.”
Signe Johansen is a Norwegian chef, author and journalist, with a special interest in the anthropology and ‘soft power’ of food and Nordic culture. She ran the acclaimed EastScandi supper club in London, which was featured in the New Yorker. Her forthcoming book, “How to Hygge” (Panmacmillan), explores how hygge (which roughly translates to “cosiness” but encompasses humanity and empathy) is central to the Nordic sense of happiness and wellbeing.
“Demagogues are a necessary menace.”
Richard Mollet was a parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party in South West Surrey in 2010. He is currently head of European Government Affairs at the RELX Group, which owns Elsevier and LexisNexis, working on public policy issues on copyright, digital rights and Brexit. Previously he spent five years as CEO of The Publishers Association.
LOCATION: St Peter De Beauvoir, Northchurch Terrace, London N1 4DA
TIME: Arrive at 7pm for prompt 7.30pm starts. Ends at 9.30pm.
ADMISSION: Free. We encourage donations.
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016
7.30pm, St Peter De Beauvoir Crypt
Northchurch Terrace, London N1 4HDA
On the eve of Britain’s historic referendum, the De Beauvoir Balloon Debate opens its doors to three passionate speakers.
“Europe without the EU would be at the mercy of the past.”
Ian Dunt is the editor of politics.co.uk. He specialises in issues around immigration, civil liberties, democracy, free speech and social justice and appears regularly on the BBC, Sky and Al-Jazeera as well as a variety of radio stations.
“Democracy needs the nation state.”
Jon Holbrook is a barrister based in London. He was shortlisted for the Legal Journalism prize at the Halsbury Legal Awards 2014.
“The referendum is asking us to dismantle the political order. We should answer yes.”
Ella Whelan is a staff writer at Spiked Online. She also writes regularly for the Spectator and City AM.
The evening is produced in partnership with the London Legal Salon.
Free entry but advance registration necessary!
Read about the Spring Debate here.
“The Labour Party of Attlee is dead.”
Dr John Bew is a historian and author whose fifth book, a biography of Clement Attlee. As a reader in History and Foreign Policy at the War Studies Department at King’s College London, and senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, he recently published a history of Realpolitik. John is a contributing writer to the New Statesman.
“Party cultures change but member values survive.”
Kate Godfrey is a former candidate for the Labour Party, and fought a key seat (Stafford) in 2015. She later bid to be a candidate in the Oldham by-election. Kate writes a popular blog and has contributed to debates over the direction of the Labour Party. Prior to politics, she worked for many years in Africa and the Middle East.
“We need to talk about solidarity.”
Roger Harding is director of communications, policy and campaigns at Shelter. He is a frequent commentator on public policy issues relating to housing and welfare. Previously, he was senior policy & public affairs manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Wednesday, December 9th, 7.30pm
Read about the evening here.
“There are no jobs in the future. We need to stop educating as if there will be.”
Tony Fish is an author, investor and entrepreneur. He is the founder of Fab Labs, a 3D-printing workspace in the City of London.
“Every community needs its pirate ship for learning.”
Catriona Maclay is the founding director of the Hackney Pirates, which helps young people develop their literary skills and confidence. She has also worked at Ashoka, a global network for social entrepreneurs, and as a secondary schoolteacher in North London.
“Schools cannot compensate for society.”
Dr Joanna Williams has worked in and written about schools, colleges and higher education for over 20 years. She is the education editor of Spiked and the author of Consuming Higher Education: Why Learning Can’t Be Bought (Bloomsbury, 2012). Her latest book, “Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity”, will be published in January.
Wednesday, October 7th, 7.30pm
READ ABOUT THE EVENING HERE.
‘Britain out of the EU would be fairer, safer and more prosperous.’
As campaign director at Business for Sterling between 1999 and 2002, Dominic Cummings made the successful case to keep Britain out of the eurozone. He is currently advising the groups preparing to make the case to leave the European Union in the forthcoming referendum. A former special adviser to Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Education, Dominic’s career also includes a successful campaign against a North East Regional Assembly.
‘Beauty will save the world.’
Dr Clare Hornsby is an art historian specialising in 18th-century art and architecture, and the history of music, aesthetics and culture. She has lived and worked in France and Italy, and is currently based in London as the founding trustee and director of Benedictus, the UK’s first Catholic liberal arts college.
‘Democracy is dead (long live democracy).’
Darren Hall is a former RAF engineer and the founding director of The Pale Blue Dot, a leadership organisation. He led the team that won Bristol the 2015 European Green Capital Award. Darren is now executive director of Love the Future CIC, which runs Europe’s largest festival of sustainability every June.
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